Learn About the Program

Created in 1997 by former Congressman Joe McDade (D-PA), the Department of Defense (DoD) Parkinson’s research program, more formally known as the Neurotoxin Exposure Treatment Parkinson’s Research (NETPR) program, has funded over $370 million of Parkinson’s research since its inception.

The DoD Parkinson’s research program identifies and funds research projects that address fundamental gaps in understanding how Parkinson’s disease develops and discover new ways to diagnose, prevent, and treat the disease. The program is supported by the Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.  

Program grants, which go to researchers across the country, support forward-looking research to better understand Parkinson’s disease.  Among other things, the Parkinson’s research program has supported:

  • Development of compounds to treat conditions often associated with Parkinson’s disease, such as depression, anxiety disorders, executive function disorders, and sleep dysfunction;
  • Research efforts to find biomarkers of head injury;
  • Investigations into specific links between environmental exposures and risk factors for Parkinson’s disease; and
  • Research to understand the role of exercise to slow or delay progression of Parkinson’s.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does this program benefit our troops?
Troops are routinely exposed to a wide range of toxins and other events, such as head trauma, that may lead to the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Understanding how these exposures occur, the incidence of disease afterwards, and how these conditions may be prevented, treated, or cured will allow the DoD to better protect military personnel while they serve our country. Learn more about our work to support veterans.  

How does this program benefit the larger Parkinson’s community?
The research provides the Parkinson’s community with information on how to combat the second most prevalent neurological disorder in the United States. Research breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Parkinson’s disease may be immediately applied to the 500,000 to 1.5 million Americans living with the disease.

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